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Williams, our new Bolivian tour leader

We would like to welcome Williams to the Oasis team!  He is our newest crew member and will be leading our tours to Bolivia in 2012.  Here he tells us his family’s remarkable story of life in Bolivia and how he became hooked on travel – it’s a great read!

Williams with sticks of dynamite in Potosi Market

Williams with sticks of dynamite in Potosi Market!

“I come from a family which combines the Andean and Spanish blood in their veins.  My father was a Mestizo man.  He was born in Sucre in a Spanish Hacienda before the Land Reform and when in Bolivia we still had the great landowners, the historical Criollos (Spanish children born in these lands).  His father (my grandfather) was one of those Spanish Criollos and my grandmother an Indian-Quechua woman.

On the other hand, my mother is a pure Indian-Aymara woman.  She was born in a little village at the shores of Lake Titicaca, called Achacachi.  Both her parents are pure Aymaras and they lived most of their lives in the countryside as farmers.

When the Land Reform Revolution started in Bolivia in 1952, my father was 13 years old and my mom 12.  Many Criollos families died but also Mestizo families because they were accused of supporting the Criollos.  So my grandfather with his family of 9 children had to run away from Sucre, and they arrived close to the village where my mom was born.

When my father was alive, he told me that all the money his father had in that time was enough to buy only 10 sheep and some potato seeds; so that was all their ‘fortune’.  In the Andean tradition, my father as the eldest boy took care of the sheep.  On the other hand, my mom is the oldest child of seven and her job was to take care of the llamas.  So that way they met…

Well, you know, in the mountains days could be cold and the nature when we are teenagers started to work… 🙂  So when my mom was 14 she fell pregnant!  My dad was almost 15 so they had to run away from my grandparents, this time to La Paz, and they were children with children (as we say).  Anyway, they had 7 children too.  I was the 3rd, now I am the second because unfortunately one of us couldn’t make it…

Williams on his Dad's bike, Bolivia

On his dad's bike!

I think I have in my blood the love to travel because I was running away and moving even before I was born!!  I started to travel and make pilgrimage to Copacabana on the back of my father since I was only 2 years old.  When I was in school, I loved travelling with my friends to places – trekking, by truck etc.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study at University but finally I realised I REALLY LOVE travelling and I ended up studying Tourism (a 5 year degree in Bolivia).  I finished in June ’94, I started working officially for a travel agency in Sep ‘94 and I haven’t stopped!

Along these years I have been trekking in the Andes, going to the Amazon and leading tours in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.  My record is leading 80 tourists on a trip to Peru and Bolivia with 144 suitcases!”

Williams will be leading our new 11 day and 15 day trips to Bolivia (with up to only 20 travellers!)

Posted in All Blogs, South America.


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